Transportation troubles continue to plague local ethanol plants - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Transportation troubles continue to plague local ethanol plants

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LYLE, Minn. (FOX 47) -- An endless alley way of rail cars for as far as the eye can see, and each one filled with ethanol that is ready to go.

"We ship primarily our ethanol by unit train to the east coast and Chicago, Albany, New York, New Jersey, but we also send product down into Atlanta to serve the southeast region," says Absolute Energy President, Rick Schwarck.

The wheels of the rail cars stay locked as harsh winters and a backlog of traffic through Chicago creates a day-to-day problem for Canadian Pacific Railroad and their customers.

"We had a stretch there where we were actually had to bring the entire plant down for 3 and a half days because we had no rail service and we were full," says Schwarck.

As production slows, grain storage bins begin to fill which creates a trickle down effect that had farmers nervous weeks ago.

"If they can't get that Ethanol delivered or whatever there going to require less corn, they don't need as much corn the prices will go down and the basis will widen and they will give us a lower price for our corn," said farmer Andy Bachman.

It's like climbing a ladder; the farmers give to the ethanol plants, who give to the gas companies.  They use it to lower the price of gas for commuters, but with a missing rung no one gets to the top.

"It raises the price of the fuel. If the components cost more the ending product will cost more, but it is still cheaper than if there was nothing in it at all," says Schwarck.

As the weather begins to warm up the cars may begin to move, but until then the east coast can expect to pay the price.

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